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Thursday, 24 August 2017

Take Three Thursday:Sunflowers

The sunflowers at Tyntesfield were far better than mine. They seemed an ideal subject to join Mary Lou in her meme.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Tomato Relish

This year we have a fine crop of tomatoes with plenty to spare.

Older daughter kept  asking me when was I going to make some tomato relish. Yesterday she declared that she would have a go at making some. The thought of her making more mess than I do, sterilising jars in the microwave and relish all over the kitchen was enough to spur me on!
So yesterday I set to in the kitchen making a double batch.
Step one was to remove the peels in hot water.

Then lots of chopping.

It needs quite a few onions.

So there was a lot more chopping. I never suffer much from onions affecting my eyes. I put this down to wearing contact lenses. Both the girls suffer badly and have tried all the tricks in the book from holding a silver spoon in their mouth to wearing goggles! On this occasion the farmer brought in a tractor rep for a cup of tea while I was onion chopping. The poor chap left wiping his eyes! 
Soon the onions, tomatoes, sugar (Demerara and granulated), chilli and ginger were in the pan ready to cook.

So quite sometime later the vinegar was added and cooked for another 40 minutes (that's the smelly bit).
Eventually I had lots of jars like this which should keep us going for a while!

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

The House at Nymans

Yesterday I took you on a walk around the gardens of Nymans. Today I will show you a little of the house.

You have probably already noticed that the house is mainly a ruin. The regency house was replaced in 1915 by a large Manor House in a Gothic/Tudor style. Unfortunately the majority of the house was destroyed by fire in 1947. It has remained as a ruin and a garden feature since this time.

Exotic plants grow in close proximity to the old walls.

The remains are certainly quite a feature.

There are many doorways to peep through.

Some leading to the more formal gardens.

Some of the house is still intact and can be visited. It is described as full of the the unexpected. I was sorry not to have time to explore it.

What I did see certainly encouraged me to consider a further visit. It deserves more exploring as does the rest of Sussex. 

I can see potential for a long weekend!

Monday, 21 August 2017

Nymans: A Garden for All

I have already mentioned that I visited Nymans Garden last week. Nymans is a National Trust garden in Sussex which was originally created by the Messel family. I was in Sussex to attend a wedding and decided to make a stop on my return journey. My visit was quite a whistle top tour as I still had a long journey home and was aware of the build up of Friday holiday traffic. The gardens open at 10am and I naively thought that my arriving at this time I would find it still quiet. How wrong can you be! The car park was already nearly full. It is obviously a popular and indeed ideal venue for young mums and their children. A great location for them to let off steam.

The extensive grounds and in particular the pinetum were badly effected by the storms in October 1987 when 486 trees were destroyed. It's open aspect looking out over High Weald would have made it particularly vulnerable to these storms.

The gardens are gradually recovering and were certainly spectacular to see on my quick walk round.

I particularly liked the more informal beds beyond the house.

There is a large rockery area.

A wildflower meadow overlooking the croquet lawn.

The wisteria archway must be spectacular in early summer.

There is of course a sundial.

As well as quite a few garden ornaments and sculptures.

The more formal gardens are closer to the house.

I was struck by thie very dark agapanthus.

The walled garden had a colourful border which was attracting a lot of visitors.

A little patience was needed to take the photos waiting for everyone to move on.

The rose garden is perhaps past its best for this year.

With occasional beautiful blooms.

A water fountain is the central feature.

Tomorrow I shall show a little of the house exterior.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

A Photo a Week Challenge: Tender Moments

I am again a little late joining Nancy's photo challenge but this week's theme is Tender Moments. I took this photo of my friend's daughter with her baby while we were picnicking. This is her first baby and her love for her new daughter is so evident and a delight to see.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Wind Power

When I first read the list for the Summertime Photography Hunt created by Mary-Lou I visualised what I would like to photograph for No. 23 Something Powered by Wind. Somerset is not over blessed with windmills but there is one that I very occasionally pass. I did have a back up plan with this children's windmill in my niece's garden.

Yesterday I popped down to the village of Wedmore in search of an outfit for the forthcoming wedding. I made a small detour to drive through Chapel Allerton where I knew I would find this windmill.

Ashton Windmill which stands on  a ridge on the Somerset levels known as The Isle of Wedmore is in an ideal position to catch the wind from all directions.

There has been a windmill here since as early as 1317. The present tower is at least 200 years old and was a flour mill until 1927. 

The windmill has been extensively restored in recent years. The most recent addition has been new sails. It is maintained by the local council Sedgemoor and is open most weekends in the summer manned by volunteers. The workings are still inside but not usable. I shall have to return when it is open.

My shopping trip incidentally was successful.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Unusual Vegetables

We were quite impressed with the array of vegetables being grown in the kitchen gardens at Tyntesfield. The greenhouses had a variety of peppers and chillies.

There was also quite a selection of aubergines.

The name eggplant means a little more when you see this one.

Across the way the walled garden is looking good.

These onions are ready to use.

The chard gave a rainbow of colour.

Even the courgette leaves blended in.

We weren't quite sure why these pumpkins were labelled like this.

It looks like there will be plenty of choice of vegetables in the restaurant this Autumn and some tasty soup too!